After receiving feed back from customers on our earlier attempt at sausage making we have been doing a lot of research to improve on our recipe. While everyone agreed that the flavor was good they felt that the texture could be improved upon.
Originally we thought that the best sausage would be one containing only meat, herbs and spices. However it seems that we were wrong and without some form of binding agent, such as breadcrumbs or rusk, the sausage does not hold onto the juices which contain much of the flavor and results in a dry sausage with a ‘granular’ type texture.
Binding agents available for purchase do not seem to have any list of ingredients and since we want to know what is in our food we decided that the only way forward was to make our own. We read that using breadcrumbs with yeast, effects the shelve life of the sausages and that rusk is a better option.
But what is rusk? It turns out that rusk is simply crumbled biscuit that has been left to go stale and is incredibly easy to make. Just mix flour, baking powder, water & salt, then roll out flat and bake, cut into strips and place back in the oven until really dry.
Once we had our crumbled rusk, we were ready to make sausage. Berkshire pork has a nice marbling of fat running through it and we found that after grinding the meat we had about the right ratio of meat to fat without the need to add extra fat. Then we added the crumbled rusk along with salt, pepper, spices, and lots of fresh sage. The trick to making sausage is to keep everything very cold, so the mix went into the freezer for thirty minutes to cool it right down.
Using our Italian sausage maker, we stuffed the casings, and twisted the links. Then placed the finished sausages in the fridge for 24 hours to firm up before freezing.